What is a Blessingway Birth Ritual Celebration?
Not sure what a Blessingway is? Imagine being in your final weeks of pregnancy surrounded by the women you love – fellow moms, sisters, friends (I decided to have my two daughters attend mine). They are gathered to celebrate you and encourage you on your journey to motherhood. As opposed to a shower where the focus is more on the baby being born, a Blessingway focuses on the mother and her evolution through pregnancy, supporting her in her upcoming birth. There are many different rituals and activities that can take place at a Blessingway. Some come from traditional Navajo ceremonies but the most important thing is that the woman being blessed is comfortable and happy.
I had a Blessingway for my last birth and I’m so glad to have had the opportunity. It was the perfect blend of simplicity, love, and friendship. Everyone brought yummy and nourishing potluck food, beads, and a candle. To start, we sat in a circle and each woman lit her candle and took turns sharing a blessing or wish for my birth. They also showed the bead that they brought for my birth necklace and explained why they chose it. It was so powerful to Â hear these kind words and inspiration from fellow moms. At the end of each blessing that persons candle was blown out and saved to light at the birth to remind me of my friends.
To end the circle, we tied yarn bracelets, a common Blessingway ritual. A ball of yarn was passed around the circle and as it was passed, each woman wrapped it around one wrist. Once everyone was connected, someone recited a closing poem and everyone cut their yarn to form a bracelet that would be worn until the birth. When I went into labor the word was passed around for everyone to cut their yarn. After the circle, we mingled and ate potluck food. My Blessingway was something I will always remember and I really do believe it helped my birth process to know that all the people I love thought I would do a good job.
Here is a video of a woman speaking about her special Blessingway:
There are lots of different rituals that can be done at Blessingways. It’s good to just pick a few to leave time to just hang out with all your favorite women. Here’s a list of fun activities to choose from:
- belly casting
- singing together
- massage for the mama
- belly henna
- making a nature alter
- making a flower crown
- belly dancing
- hair braiding
This is the beautiful poem read at my Blessingway to begin the circle:
Itâ€™s called â€˜Willow Treeâ€™ by an unknown author.
I am a willow tree,
Strong, yet fluid
I can bend with the wind,
but my roots are tough,
Opening to birth my child
is flowing with the wind:
from a soft and gentle breeze
to a stormy gale
back to a soft and gentle breeze.
My body is strong, but flexible.
It is my friend, it knows how to open.
I am a friend to my body
eating well, walking, and loving myself.
I shall birth safely, freely, openly . . .
among my loved and trusted ones.
I am the willow, flexible
endowed with the power of surrender
to the wind rustling through my leaves,
My roots reach deep into Mother Earth
Anchored in Her strength
I bring forth life